No one likes a simple Nay-Sayer. So, in the wake of last week’s post, I thought I would add a Yay to my Nay. What are our alternatives to the messed up, sex-crazed music that’s out there nowadays? Well, one could check out one of the most honest and humble Christian musicians to ever pick up the guitar.

Some of you, from the ivory towers of music, will look down on Christian artists and their music, and I get that. But you can’t look down on Bebo Norman, because he’s just that good. He retired from professional music last year, but you can still get his stuff. This is my favorite song by him. It’s called Nothing Without You. Let’s take a look…

Take these hands and lift them up
For I have not the strength to praise You near enough
For I have nothing, I have nothing without You

Take my voice and pour it out
Let it sing the songs of mercy I have found
For I have nothing, I have nothing without You

I love these two opening verses. From the start, Bebo addresses God, and he approaches Him from a posture of helplessness. He can’t even lift up his hands. He’s weak. He recognizes that all of our activity to worship God is done because God works through us and enables us. We don’t have anything but Him. It’s good to remember that.

Indeed, we have found great songs of mercy through the blood of Jesus, but our voices are weak in the midst of the heat and dryness of our present wilderness. We ask the Lord to help us sing.

All my soul needs
Is all Your love to cover me
So all the world will see
That I have nothing without You

The chorus is simple. We don’t need cars. We don’t need earthly security. We don’t need perfect jobs or perfect bodies or perfect houses. We need His love. We need Him. We need His love to wash over us, to penetrate us, to clean us. We need His love for our sake, and we need His love for the sake of others. It’s as the Gospel is made manifest in our lives that the world glimpses the beauty and sufficiency of Christ. What do we need that isn’t found in His embrace?

Take my body and build it up
May it be broken as an offering of love
For I have nothing, I have nothing without You

This next verse is phenomenal. We ask the Lord to make us strong. Why? So that we may offer it up as a living sacrifice to Him (Romans 12:1-2). Why this radical nature of sacrifice? We have nothing without Him.

With all my heart
With all my soul
With all my mind
And all the strength I can find

The bridge mirrors the great commandment in Luke 10:27 and calls us back to the basics: we are to love Him with every bit of heart, soul, mind, and strength that He provides.

Take my time here on earth
And let it glorify all that You are worth
For I am nothing, I am nothing, I am nothing without You

The song closes with simplicity and profundity. The simplicity: we ask the Lord to simply use every moment of every day, every bit of mundane minutia for the praise of His glory. The profundity: Bebo shifts his language from “I have nothing” to “I am nothing.” What are we without our Great God? As Paul said, when he hijacked and redeemed an ancient quote written by Epimenides about Zeus, “In Him we live and move and have our being,” (Acts 17:28). He supplies us with identity. He supplies us with life.

It’s so much better than One Direction. I think that’s enough for today.

Bebo Norman, photo courtesy of [ genvessel] {{cc-by-2.0}}


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